I leave Nairobi tomorrow. I don’t know how I feel about that - both excited and super sad.
When I woke up today I could tell something was different. In the same way I could just feel the rainy season had ended in December, I could feel that the dry season ended today. There is no good way of describing how it feels to know the season changed overnight, but one can just tell.
Thus, I was in no way surprised when it started pouring rain tonight. It’s a bit fitting that the season changed on my last full day in this wonderful place.
Bye Nairobi, nina mapenzi kwa wewe, na nitarudi haraka sana.
My host fam gave me a Gikuyu name - Mugendi. It means one who walks, or goes out, because I walk to the Ma3 (and go out) a lot. They’ve been calling me Mugendi exclusively, Instead of Ian.
I’m going to miss my Kenyan family a lot; they’ve really become family, not just people with whom I live, and the naming was a big part of that. Names in Kenya hold a lot of significance, and they always mean something. That said, I will probably occasionally introduce myself to people as Mugendi back in the states, but only when I’m pretending to be Kenya.
I have no words for this. Well, except to point out that the common cold is caused by a virus - not a bacteria, and DRINKING WHILE YOU ARE SICK DOES NOT MAKE YOU BETTER.
I got an internship working at an NGO - inaitwa Shelter Forum. SF works to guarantee safe and affordable housing to all Kenyans. To do this they work with other like-minded NGOs to lobby the government to make good on their promises, and policy blueprints as laid out in sessional papers (like a white paper, but a little more “we plan on doing the following). Speaking of sessional papers….
My task at SF is to read through Sessional Paper #3 (2004) which focuses on housing, annotate it, critique and be ready to present my opinion to the MINISTER OF HOUSING.
So, yeah, I’m excited.
I haven’t posted anything about my life in a long time - so here’s a quick update(sans pictures, because - believe it or not - the internet in Kenya still sucks)
- Went to the family shamba a bit outside of Embu - I picked mangoes and ate them then and there. It was reminiscent of the apple orchard in Michigan if the apple orchard were: A)A mango farm B)In the tropics - and thus about 85 and amazingly sunny and C)lacking in donuts and cider
- Still have not started an internship. The Center for Multiparty Democracy lead me on for about two months before deciding they didn’t have room in their office for an intern. Myself, the K program staff and my host fam think they did this because they get money from US organizations and are scared I’m a spy for them
- Continued the adventure that is my life in Kenya. No specifics; just all crazy all the time.
- Took shisha with a purported war criminal. This is and of itself a prototypical #Kenya story - so I’ll write up an account of the encounter later.
I come home in about 2 and one half weeks. I am super excited, and super not-excited. I’ll try to post more pictures soon.
Right now I’m sitting in Cairo. That’s right, Egypt. I don’t really have a lot to say about it - meeting up with dearly missed friends is always great. I’ve seen pyramids, and taken amazing shisha. I’m going to the National Museum in a bit, and I’ve had a meal on a boat on the Nile.
I return from Cairo on Thursday morning and on Friday morning I am leaving for seven days to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I can’t really believe that this is happening - not to mention that Christmas is in five days (which will be spent on Kilimanjaro).
After Kili I plan on jetting off to Diani Beach for a New Years beach party.
I don’t really have words for how excited I am for the remainder of this month, but at the same time I know I’m going to start missing Nairobi soon.
SO three countries, two world-famous locals, and two major holidays all in the next 11 days.